Fugitive Poets

The Fugitive Poets is a reference Trethway incorporates throughout several of her poems, and happens to have a very interesting and important history.  The Fugitive Poets themselves consist of a group of poets and literary scholars that came together at Vanderbilt University, located in Nashville Tennessee during the 1920s. Together these bright minds created a magazine titled The Fugitive between the years of 1922-1925.

The Fugitive was a magazine that consisted a series of poetry and criticisms, with a mission to practice and defend formal techniques of poetry and the traditional values of the South against the effects of urban industrialization. These poets demonstrated that southerners could produce important work that was carefully crafted and paid special attention to the style and format of poetry and rhyme.

After several years, a second group of Fugitive Poets came together and they called themselves “Southern Agrarians“. In the 1930s they created an essay titled I’ll Take My Stand, which has remained a debated document because of its references to the development of Southern literature. Their main message insisted that industrialism was not necessary for the agrarian way of life and rejection of segregation in order to create and more humane and new South.

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